Thursday, March 27, 2008

Scam Alert: Beware of Travelers Advantage and HSBC

A year or so ago, we got an HSBC MasterCard, specifically for use in Europe as HSBC has a large presence and because the card charged only 1% foreign transaction fees. Within a month or two, we received a notice that HSBC was increasing foreign exchange fees to 3%.

A few weeks ago, we received a “rebate check” from HSBC (just as we do from several other of our rebate credit cards, a frequent occurrence), which turned out to be a scam. Obviously, there was some very fine print even we didn’t notice. By cashing the check, we allegedly signed up for Travelers Advantage, and they wanted to charge us $120 per year in perpetuity.

Needless to say, we disputed with both HSBC and Travelers Advantage. Travelers Advantage has many complaints about them detailed on Ripoff Report. We thought we were savvy consumers, but still got trapped in this unethical and deceptive scam. Stay away from both HSBC and Travelers Advantage.